Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel on Thursday named his squad for the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Amsterdam on May 16 and 17.
The 12-member squad shows two changes from the group that was crowned the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Sevens champions in Kenya last month.
Star centre Mathrin Simmers was ruled out due to concussion, while lock Nomsa Mokwai was excluded from the squad in a rotational switch.
Star wing Phumeza Gadu, meanwhile, is still recovering from the knee injury that ruled her out of the CAR Sevens and will also miss the tournament.
Lamla Momoti and Zintle Mpupha will replace Simmers and Mokwai in the squad.
While Momoti is an experienced campaigner on both the 15-a-side and Sevens circuits, Mpupha will make her debut for the Springbok Women’s Sevens on the tour.
The Amsterdam Women’s Sevens World Series, which marks the last event on this season’s World Series calendar, is the only IRB tournament South Africa was invited to participate in.
The team will face Australia, Russia and France in the pool stages in Amsterdam.
“We have a talented squad and we are fortunate to have players such as Lamla and Zintle to call on,” said Dazel.
“Lamla is an experienced player and this combined with her fantastic skills will add something different to the team. Zintle has also impressed me with her lineout and scrummaging skills at training and I am excited to see her in action in Amsterdam.”
South Africa won only one of their five matches in Amsterdam last year, and given the quality of their pool opponents this year Dazel was under no illusions about the challenge his team faces.
However, he expected a vastly improved showing from his charges this season.
“We will be facing some of the best teams in the world in Amsterdam, so we know what we are in for,” said Dazel.
“But we have been working hard in the last few months to improve the quality of our play and I believe we have made good strides in that regard. So hopefully that will show in our performance.”
Springbok Women’s Sevens team for IRB Women’s Sevens World Series:
Zenay Jordaan (captain)